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Iraq eyes 25 Pct Stake in Oil Deals, $1.2 Bln Bonus - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Iraq will seek $1.2 billion in non-recoverable signature bonuses for deals made in a second round of bidding for oil deals, and will take a quarter stake in the new hydrocarbon contracts, Iraqi officials said on Tuesday.

Oil Ministry officials are in Istanbul to showcase their plans for the auction later this year for contracts to develop Iraq’s vast oil reserves. It will be the second major tender of Iraqi oil and gas fields since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said Iraq would have a 25 percent share of deals to develop the 10 oil fields on offer.

The signature bonuses for the East Baghdad, Halfaya, Majnoon and West Qurna super giant fields will be $150 million each, said Abdul-Mahdy al-Ameedi, deputy director of Iraq’s contracts and licensing directorate.

The government will seek signature bonuses of $100 million each for the other six oil and gas fields it plans to offer, Ameedi said in a presentation to oil companies meeting in Istanbul.

Unlike the contracts offered in a previous auction in June, in which the signature bonuses were considered soft loans, the second round bonuses will be non-recoverable.

The June auction produced just one deal, for the Rumaila oilfield, which was awarded to a consortium led by BP. The signature bonus for Rumaila was $500 million.

“With respect to oilfields that were not awarded, the ministry is currently considering its options. Whatever options are chosen, and it will be shortly announced, will be based on competitive rather than bilateral principles,” said Shahristani.

Ameedi told Reuters the Iraqi government would invite all companies that submitted bids in the first round to compete again for the same fields once the revised terms for bidding are announced, expected later this year.

Most oil majors balked at what they said were stiff terms for deals on offer.

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Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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